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Qatar had been working hard both externally and internally to neutralise and even by-pass the effects of political and economic embargo imposed on the country by Saudi led bloc. Qatar is finally to yield required support from US.

A high level strategic dialogue in Washington took place between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence James Mattis and Qatari counterparts Foreign Minister Mohammed Al Thani and Defence Minister Khalid al-Attiyah, on Tuesday.

The first session of the dialogue focussed on strengthening security ties between US and Qatar and concluded with a joint declaration by both the countries to promote peace and stability and counter the scourge of terrorism.US also committed that it will work with Qatar to “deter and confront” external threats to Qatar’s territorial integrity

US and Qatar counterparts had a detailed discussion on the ongoing gulf crisis which have become a challenge to Qatar’s sovereignty and integrity. Both the governments expressed concern over the negative impact of the ongoing crisis on polity, economy and life in the region. Serious concerns were also raised in context to peace and stability in the region which has been jeopardised and is a stern violation of international law.

Both the countries expressed their commitment for seeking a resolution to the ongoing gulf crisis and affirmed their backing for a strong Gulf Cooperation Council that is focused on countering regional threats and ensuring a peaceful and prosperous future for all its peoples.

Qatar appreciated US role in taking a strong and just position in the crisis and significant part it plays in countering threats of terrorism and violent extremism. Apart from the ongoing crisis both countries discussed about various other threats to regional security and stability focussing on efforts to defeat ISIS, ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, as well as efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The strategic dialogue till now has proved a mutually benefiting dialogue though it follows few days after Qatar announced an expansion of a US airbase in its capital, Doha. US, though, has emphasised its support for Doha but it is still calling for all sides to compromise.

All photos by Ray Toh

Plumes of red, white and blue smoke and the whooshing sounds of nine Hawk fast-jets filled Qatar’s skies yesterday, as the UK’s Red Arrows performed over the Corniche.

The pilots represent the public face of the UK’s Royal Air Force.

They returned to Doha for the first time in four years as part of a Gulf tour that aims to strengthen trade ties between countries.

According to the UK Embassy in Doha, the jets sometimes flew as close as six feet apart at more than 400 miles per hour during the 20-minute show.

Qatar Airways also got in on the action, with one of its Airbus 350s flying with the jets after the official show to mark the airline’s 20th anniversary.

In a statement, Ambassador Ajay Sharma said:

“I am delighted to have been able to welcome the Red Arrows to Qatar. Such visits are a very visible demonstration and celebration of the strength of UK-Qatar relations. They showcase the best of the UK from the technical mastery of the pilots to the excellence of our engineering and aviation industry.”

Online reaction

Thousands of Qatar residents flocked outside to check out the display. Here’s some of what the saw:

Did you catch the show? Thoughts?

With reporting from Reem Saad

Thousands of people flocked to the Corniche last night to express support for Qatar’s Emir, who has just returned home from a trip abroad.

The crowd consisted of expats and Qataris alike, who hailed Sheikh Tamim for representing Qatar proudly during the ongoing Gulf dispute.

The Emir was first warmly received at the airport by family members and other VIPs.

Later in the evening, his convoy cruised down the Corniche, where people waited up to three hours to greet him.

Sheikh Tamim very briefly got out of his vehicle to meet with attendees, kissing children and shaking hands.

Speaking to Doha News, one Qatari woman who declined to be named said:

“I feel so proud to be here today. Us coming together like this only goes to show that we as Qataris and the residents of Qatar would never turn our backs on Sheikh Tamim.”

 

Online reaction

The event appeared to be a very emotional one for some residents. Many strongly felt the need to show up and express their patriotism as Qatar’s isolation from its neighbors grows.

Others wanted to give thanks to the Emir for his defiant speech last week at the United Nations, which expressed gratitude to Qatar’s expats and local population for their solidarity.

Here’s some of the online reaction to yesterday’s event:

Thoughts?